Lensed in lavish Technicolor, The Man Within is a rousing tale of smugglers, betrayal and redemption. The story is told from the point of view of seaman Andrews (Richard Attenborough), the ward of 19th century smuggler chieftan Carylyton (Michael Redgrave). Feeling persecuted by his stern disciplinarian guardian, Andrews jumps ship and turns Carylyton over to the customs officials. A deadly fight ensues, during which both Andrews and Carylyton escape and head their separate ways. Upon befriending the stepson of a customs agent who was killed by Carylyton, Andrews agrees to testify against his onetime friend and protector in court. To bind the bargain, Lucy (Jean Kent), mistress of the Crown's Attoney, makes love to the impressionable, misguided Andrews. Finally realizing that the forces of justice are no more ethical than his fellow smugglers, Andrews refuses to testify against Carylyton, and is himself thrown into prison. Incredible though it may seem, a happy ending results from all this intrigue. In America, The Man Within was released in a slightly shorter version, retitled The Smugglers.
by Hal Erickson synopsis